Of Chalk, Presentations, Experiments and Lessons

At the end of a really busy workday today, my thoughts led me to my teachers who made me love learning and the quest for knowledge and skills.

I’ve had numerous teachers from preschool to graduate school and until now, I still remember many of them with fondness, still chuckle at the funny classroom scenarios, feel the amazement of learning new things, relive the anxiety during major examinations and presentations, and experience the bond with my classmates.

So I’m writing this to say thank you to all my teachers. They were all special in their own ways, although it couldn’t be helped that some teachers became my favorites, and others, just okay. Yet, they all helped me to be ready to face the world and all its challenges:

Ms. Alvarado – She was my preschool teacher — a kind, soft-spoken lady. I enrolled in an alternative school then in her family’s residential area, with a portion of the house converted into a classroom. Together with the other kids, we played games. We ran around the yard. We’d race to the kitchen during recess to be the first one to reach the pot cover and bang it with a metal spoon to indicate snack time. What’s funny is I am aware that I improved my reading, writing, coloring, and counting skills then, but what stuck most in my memory were the fun times we had.

Sir Oca – He was my Grade 5 science teacher. I first joined poster-making competitions in primary school because of him, although I considered my drawing skills average. I recall that my drawings then included the usual elements for science/environment-related themes: earth with its blue-green color usually at the center of the cartolina, a bespectacled scientist holding a test tube, telecommunication towers, buildings, etc. I wasn’t amazed by him because of his brilliance but because of his calmness in the classroom and his subtle sense of humor.

Ma’am Gaite – She was my Grade 4 teacher, stern, with short curly/wavy hair. She recommended that I join the oratorical competition, particularly in reciting the declamation piece “Mi Ultimo Adios” by Dr. Jose P. Rizal, in the Bicol language. It was a long piece but I was able to memorize it by listening to my Ate practice reciting several times. But a day before the contest, I got cold feet and did not proceed while my Ate joined the competition. I believe that Ma’am Gaite then was disappointed but she did not reprimand me after but still encouraged me to be open to new opportunities.

Ma’am Bueno – She was my Biology teacher in high school. In her class, we did several experiments and composed a song to recall the terms. We were magulo and did not pay attention a sometimes, but I remember how enjoyable that class was. Partly, it was because I had a crush then, a guy in the third year, and every time their class would pass by the classroom, my friends would call his attention by saying a coined name “Ambrylou.” 😉

Ma’am Balin – She was my Filipino teacher. She was slim, had a really straight posture, raspy voice. She was strict but not in an anxiety-inducing sort of way. We did a lot of play-acting in class, making the scenes from the novels “Noli Me Tangere” and the poem “Florante at Laura” come alive. Our class was interactive and dynamic, interspersed by witty yet amusing comments from her.

…to be continued

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